ORANGE PARK – If you’re like me and Halloween is your favorite holiday, you’re going to want to swing by the haunted Big Top at the Orange Park Mall while the circus is in town.
Paranormal Cirque was equal parts thrilling, frightening and hilarious. There are limits to what you can do in a live act under a tent, but the talented Paranormal Cirque team delivered a creative, one-of-a-kind show.
I enjoyed the haunted atmosphere. The “trapped spirits of dead circus performers” was an interesting theme.
I enjoyed the comedy acts. There were genuine laugh-out-loud moments, many of which the audience participated.
One act was a clever nod to “The Exorcist” movie. The performer was “possessed,” and an “exorcism” brought out her acrobatic act, which lifted her 50 feet for her acrobatic flight. She somersaulted through the air and caught herself with nothing but an ankle at one point.
I had to look away. Somehow, she made it back safely to the ground in the ring.
Yes, the show was terrifying. Not in a horror movie way – which typically relies on jump scares, sudden loud noises and special effects. No, Paranormal Cirque was scary because it was all happening right above you. Real people, real life, real danger.
The trained experts pulled off the near-fatal stunts with bravado like it was nothing. You had a motorcycle revving up and down a tightrope, a comprehensive display of acrobatics, whip cracking, contortionists and pyrotechnicians.
Roxana Midi, a director at Paranormal Cirque, is proud of what the show has become.
“It’s a thrilling, scary, talented live show from performers all over the world,” Midi said.
“We’re proud to put on new and improved acts from when we were at Orange Park last year,” she said.
The show is spectacular, and it’s “Rated-R,” she said. Mature themes and topics were presented, and there was some vulgar language. And while there’s no nudity, there are sexual connotations and suggestions.
“We get kinky over here,” she joked.
If your curiosity is piqued, swing by Saturday at 9:30 p.m. or Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. An adult must accompany anyone between 13-18 years old.
I recommend coming early. There is a free haunted maze before the show, which was very popular. Cash-only vendors sell circus-style food, snow cones, soft drinks and alcohol.